LOS ANGELES—Millennial investors seem tounderstand that a well-balanced portfolio shouldn't just consist oftraditional blue-chip equities and bonds, but a variety of assetclasses. This generation was, and continues to be, greatly impactedby the Great Recession in several ways. That is according toDavid Manshoory, the founder and CEO ofpeer-to-peer real estate lending marketplaceAssetAvenue. GlobeSt.com recently caught up withManshoory, who was recently named one of “Tomorrow's Leaders” inSouthern California real estate by sister publication, RealEstate Forum, on millennial investors, technology and what itall means for the industry

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GlobeSt.com: Why do millennial investors love realestate and what does it mean for the industry?

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David Manshoory:In a recent survey ofhigh-net-worth investors by US Trust entitled “Insights on Wealthand Worth,” stark contrasts appeared between millennial (or“generation Y”) investors and previous generations regarding arange of issues, including their preference for tangible assets.While 35% of millennial investors said they currently own tangibleassets, an additional 46% said they do not currently but areinterested in owning them, the highest percentage of any group.

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Millennial investors seem to understand that a well-balancedportfolio shouldn't just consist of traditional blue-chip equitiesand bonds, but a variety of asset classes. This generation was, andcontinues to be, greatly impacted by the Great Recession in severalways. Many saw their parents' and grandparents' stock portfoliosdrastically cut, and a significant portion of new graduates haddifficulty finding suitable work to pay off mounting student loandebt. I believe this economic turmoil and uncertainty has ledmillennials to gravitate toward security and caution regardingtheir finances and investments. While many real estate markets didsuffer hits during the Great Recession, this sector is still seenas one of the safest investments and as a huge wealthgenerator.

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GlobeSt.com: How do you think technology isimpacting the way this generation invests?

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Manshoory:What online brokerages didfor investors in the 1990s, investment crowdfunding portals will dofor this decade. Crowdfunding technology is helping disrupttraditional models of doing business. The recession hurt everyone'sinvestment portfolios and drastically shrunk the availability ofcredit to consumers and businesses. However, it also sparked aresponse in the market. Lending Club is connecting qualifiedborrowers with investors, Indiegogo is helping artists and othersolicit crowds for donations, and now a new frontier is openingwith real estate.

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GlobeSt.com: How is crowdfunding specificallychanging the real estate investment experience?

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Manshoory:Investmentcrowdfunding platforms have especially taken offsince the JOBS Act was passed in 2012, even though not all of themutilize the new rules that allow for the advertisement of privatesecurities. What it has done is create a gold rush of new platformscoming online, catering to a variety of niches and asset classes.Some platforms, like AssetAvenue, focus on debt investments, otherson equity and debt, but only in only commercial or residential realestate, and so on. The real estate crowdfunding movement is stillin its infancy, but there's a lot of room to grow. Our experiencethus far has been that early adopters are tech-savvy millennialsand late gen X-ers who are then influencing their parents toconsider investing online as well.

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GlobeSt.com: How will millennial investors changereal estate investing in the future?

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Manshoory:Millennials are the mosttech-savvy generation to date and because of that, technologicaladvances will continue to be a crucial component of attracting andretaining these investors. Our generation is much more likely toinvest, donate and conduct financial business online; it feelscompletely normal to us. At the same time, we expect cutting-edgetools at our fingertips, which is why investment platforms likeAssetAvenue are continuously thinking of ways to use technology topromote transparency, discussion and education while shrinking theentire process down to as few steps as possible. As this generationof investors' earning power increases over time, capital willcontinue to move toward true democratization, depending less onclosed-door deals and membership in exclusive networks and more onthe quality of the opportunities themselves.

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GlobeSt.com: How should millennials educatethemselves about real estate investing?

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Manshoory:Luckily with all theadvancements in technology, the education needed for real estateinvesting is much more accessible. My advice would be to utilizethe incredible resources already assembled and available online tolearn about the pillars of real estate investing. This advicereally applies to anyone new to real estate investing, particularlyif they are considering investing through a crowdfunding platform.No matter which one is chosen, investors should ensure that thefounding team has the requisite real estate investment expertise tobe offering investments to other investors.

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Millennials should also determine what their risk tolerance isbased on their current and future financial goals and how tobalance out their portfolio. For example, AssetAvenue is adebt-based crowdfunding platform offering more stable returns,while others offer equity investments with good upside potentialbut higher risk. Our general advice is that investors should spreadrisk around between a variety of asset classes, property types andlocations. They should also look to see that sufficient informationis given about the investment to make a completely informeddecision.

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.